New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): The government of India now planning to disinvest in major railways and infrastructure projects. A core group of secretaries under the Indian Government met on Monday to take stock of the proposed assets for monetisation pipeline. The move comes as the government think tank, NITI Aayog, is involved in preparing the next list of central public sector companies for disinvestment in the coming weeks, said Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman.
It has been learned that the operational routes of Delhi Metro, Kolkata Metro, Konkan Railways and Dedicated Freight Corridors are likely to be part of the exercise.
In her union budget-2021 speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pegged the divestment target at Rs 1.75 lakh crore to fund various ongoing and proposed projects. Hence, the government is looking to conclude the strategic sale of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Air India, Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), Container Corporation of India, IDBI Bank Limited, Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), Pawan Hans Limited and Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited in the next fiscal.
"The core group in its meeting on February 8 reviewed the possibility of inclusion of additional pipeline assets identified by the Petroleum Ministry. These include GAIL, IOCL and HPCL. The Railway Ministry too has updated a list to include assets of Dedicated Rail Freight Corridor and infrastructure assets such as Track and OHE, Konkan Railways, MFCs, Kolkata Metro, Sports stadiums, redevelopment of railway colonies and hospitals. Warehousing assets of Department of Food and Public Distribution are also likely to be put on the block for monetisation," sources said, CNBC TV-18 reported.
"Similarly, the existing Model Concession Agreement on Ports is being revised, to push the viability of monetization of various port assets. Ministry of Urban Development has initiated fresh talks with the NITI Aayog to include the operational routes of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). To facilitate this, the government is considering incorporating a panel that will look into the sustainability and financing of Delhi Metro Rail projects," said sources.
To execute the plan, NITI Aayog has developed a Composite Dashboard for Asset monetization for real-time progress updates and monitoring of core as well as non-core assets. The government has suggested that each ministry shall be required to designate a nodal officer (joint secretary level), who will be authorised to update the dashboard on a regular basis on behalf of ministries.
The core group of secretaries has now started talks on creating the National Monetisation Pipeline of potential brown-field infrastructure assets. All ministries will be updating the NITI Aayog regarding potential assets to be monetized between the financial year 2021-2024.
The Ministry of Railway has updated on 12 clusters of private passenger trains which are close to 150 trains. The ministry said that RFQ for 10 stations has been launched where Railways has also short-listed applications for eight stations.
The railways have already launched RFQ for Mumbai CSMT Station and applications are being received. RFQ has been issued for New Delhi Station also, which due date was February 5, 2021, and applications are being assessed at present. Railways will soon launch RFQ for the remaining 40 stations, it has been said.
The Ministry of Aviation has also updated that they are expediting work at six airports in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, which includes Tiruchirappalli, Amritsar, Varanasi, Bhubaneswar, Raipur and Indore. Also, the aviation ministry is working to identify additional airports that can be taken up through PPP mode. The Ports and Shipping Ministry will also be working on monetisation of 11 assets, including 10 berths currently operated by the Port Trusts and International Cruise Terminals.